Here are some statistics to help quantify the value of staging a home before putting it on the market…

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average U.S. home price is $173,100.

According to Real Estate Staging Association national statistics, staged homes sell on average 7 months faster than un-staged homes (or 78% fewer days on market).

Zillow.com reports that the typical home for sale averages a 1% monthly price reduction.

Trulia.com reports that homes under $2M experience an average 9% price reduction from list to close.

The typical investment in staging a home is less than the first price reduction.

A typical mortgage payment is around 0.75% of list price.

Carrying Costs = Utilities + Maintenance + HOA fees + other monthly expenses

Using these numbers, some basic calculations show us that staging the “average” home results in serious savings:

Monthly Mortgage Payment ($173,100 x 0.75%)                          = $ 1,300

Carrying Costs (estimated)                                                           + $    200

Total Expenses Saved ([$1300 + $200] x 7 mos)                         = $10,500

Average Price Reduction Avoided ($173,100 x 1% x 7 mos)         + $12,117

Total Savings of Staging Average Home                                    = $22,617

As professional home stagers, we still regularly come across sellers and realtors who don’t fully understand what staging is or how and why it works.  They often think staging is “too expensive” or don’t see the value in making the investment to have a home staged.  They don’t realize how much it is costing them NOT to stage and how much they would save by staging the home before listing it.  I call these the “Wait and See-ers” and the “Hurry Up and List-ers”.  In both cases, they are leaving big money on the table.

“Wait and See-ers”:  These folks aren’t convinced staging really works, and/or don’t want to make the investment of time, energy or money to make the necessary changes to get buyers interested.  They are content to take their chances and just see what happens.  Well, what usually happens is not very much.  They don’t get many showings, the house lingers on the market, and they are forced to keep dropping the price.

“Hurry Up and List-ers”:  These folks underestimate the importance of making that first impression a great one.  They believe it’s more important to hurry up and get the house on the market than to wait until it’s in showcase condition.  They tend to see the same results as the Wait and See-ers…no offers, accumulating days on market and price reductions.

Here is another way to think about it…Would you go to a job interview without taking a shower, dressed in your most comfortable sweat pants, with your resume only partially finished?  Would you tell the interviewer you didn’t have a chance to pick up your suit from the dry cleaners or finish your resume, but thought you’d take a chance and see what happened?  Certainly not.  If you did, would you honestly expect him to understand, overlook your less-than-pulled-together appearance and offer you a job?  Doubtful.  Take it one step further.  What would you expect to happen if even a short time later you showered, put on your best suit, polished up your resume and tried to get another interview with that same job prospect?  Do you think they would give you another chance to make an impression?  Not likely.  That ship has sailed.  And so it is with homes for sale.  You don’t get a second opportunity to make a positive impression on potential buyers.  If the house is not well prepared, well presented, and more enticing than the competition, the offers will not come until the price drops low enough to match the perceived value (or lack thereof).

So if you are thinking about selling, be sure to contact a professional home stager first.  The investment you make to properly prepare your home for sale will almost certainly be less than your first price reduction.  If your house is already listed but you are not seeing results, remember it’s never too late to stage.